Check out my article on the 10 anticipated psychosocial needs of baby boomers, now a web feature on Long-Term Living Magazine online.
10 anticipated psychosocial needs of baby boomers
Consider these changes as LTC adapts to the next generation
by Eleanor Feldman Barbera, PhD
We’ve heard the rumblings of the coming generation in the voices of our “young” residents in their 50s and 60s. It’s the younger residents who most often chafe at the restrictions of nursing home life, such as being unable to leave the facility unsupervised, or being cautioned to sit when they’d prefer to walk and take the risk of falling. As the baby boomers enter long-term care in greater numbers, those rumblings will grow louder, necessitating changes in how we deliver care. We’ll be more successful in making these changes if we anticipate the needs of the boomers, rather than merely reacting to their dissatisfaction.
Attending to their psychosocial needs will help your boomers find comfort, enjoyment and purpose in their later years, thereby creating vital, thriving organizations better able to adapt to changes in the long-term care landscape. Here’s what to look out for, and what you can do to help your organization and your residents.
1. Social connectedness
Internet access keeps boomer residents in touch with their social networks as well as the rest of the world. The next generation of residents will expect to be wired, so make your long-term care facility a hotspot now. To increase the value of this service, add adaptive equipment, along with training in how to use it, lockable laptop drawers, additional electrical outlets and policies on maintaining privacy in the nursing home.
2. Social differentiation
Say good-bye to “Goodnight, Irene” and hello to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and “Soldier Boy”. The universal music of earlier generations shifted toward more individualized preferences in our new cohort, so plan on mixing your Motown with your Hendrix nights. Our boomers also had exposure to a wide variety of ethnic foods during their lifetimes. Consider polling residents to discover their preferences and offering an international option on your menu for greater variety and the opportunity for personal growth.
To read more: 10 anticipated psychosocial needs of baby boomers.